Chloe and I had several favorite Boulder hikes. A hiking spot became a favorite based on several factors like crowds, parking, shade, water, leash laws, mountain lion safety, and workout level. Chloe probably based it strictly off of leash laws and water access.
Regardless, I polled several people about their favorite Boulder hikes for dogs. Although some were nervous to give away their secrets, most were happy to share their thoughts. Keep reading for the top results on the best boulder hikes for dogs.
Pet lovers who cited this 3.7 mile lollipop loop trail that is just northwest of the Boulder reservoir chose it because of a lack of crowds and ease of parking. They reported letting their dogs run free here since it falls under OSMP Leash or Voice/Sight Control rules.
While I agree with this assessment, please keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. Prairie dogs are also abundant, and I have been followed by coyotes. The cows have also been a trail block on occasion. Despite the wildlife and the lack of shade, I think this is a great trail to get exercise with your pooch. And because it is relatively flat, it is great for people with a variety of fitness levels. It is also easy to extend the distance on this excursion…there are miles and miles of trails and dirt roads in the area.
There is a small lake and also seasonal stream on part of this hike, which are great for thirsty/hot dogs.
From the Boulder reservoir, head north. The trailhead is .5-1.0 miles away on the left-hand side.
I know a lot of pet owners who don’t love bringing their dogs up Mount Sanitas–too crowded, rocky, hot, steep. But nearby Dakota Ridge lets dogs and their humans take in the same views. Dakota Ridge is not as crowded as Sanitas, not as strenuous, but every bit as beautiful. There is a seasonal stream if you access Dakota Ridge near 4th Street to help keep your dog cool as a cucumber.
Most of this hike is Leash or Voice/Sight control except the cut-through from Valley View–dogs must be on leash for that section.
You can park at the Sanitas Parking lot, but I typically park on 4th near Valley View and take a cut-through trail to Dakota Ridge.
This hike is definitely more strenuous than the previous two! It isn’t terribly long up to the top of the hill, which ranks it as a moderate hike. Pet owners like this one because of a lack of crowds/dogs. Like the other hikes, there is a seasonal stream that can be accessed near the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. A leash is required at the beginning of this hike if hiking from that parking lot. After that, Leash, or Voice / Sight control is fine. (You can also access this trail from the Settlers Park Trailhead off of the west end of Pearl Street.)
Park at the Centennial Trailhead parking lot and follow the Red Rocks Trail until you see signs for the Anemone Trail.
Do you have a favorite Boulder hikes that you share with your pet dog? We’d love it if you would share in the comments!
©2022 SUSANNAH ALLEN
CHLOE PET PHOTOGRAPHY
Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado